Monday, February 13, 2012

The New York Times Buries The Lede About Education Gap

The New York Times reports that the education gap between the rich and poor:
 . . . . in analyses of long-term data published in recent months, researchers are finding that while the achievement gap between white and black students has narrowed significantly over the past few decades, the gap between rich and poor students has grown substantially during the same period.
More importantly,
The changes are tectonic, a result of social and economic processes unfolding over many decades. The data from most of these studies end in 2007 and 2008, before the recession’s full impact was felt. Researchers said that based on experiences during past recessions, the recent downturn was likely to have aggravated the trend.
However, the biggest part of the story is the last sentence:
There are no easy answers, in part because the problem is so complex, said Douglas J. Besharov, a fellow at the Atlantic Council. Blaming the problem on the richest of the rich ignores an equally important driver, he said: two-earner household wealth, which has lifted the upper middle class ever further from less educated Americans, who tend to be single parents.
The problem is a puzzle, he said. “No one has the slightest idea what will work. The cupboard is bare.”
"No one has the slightest idea what will work."  The statement should produce both desperation and innovation.  Yet, in South Dakota, Governor Daugaard has deceided to rely on political orthodoxy and push a warmed over  merit pay plan that has been shown not to work.

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